AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 88. Undergraduate Astronomy Instruction, Labs and Research
Poster, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[88.01] Curricular Derivatives in Undergraduate Astronomy

L. K. Erickson (Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)

With faculty positions becoming increasingly competitive, the smaller or specialized universities and colleges have become more attractive to the new Ph.D. graduate and post-doc interested in a career in teaching and research. However, the limitations of smaller research resources, and a more limited curricula, and higher teaching loads can make the smaller school less attractive and the position challenging. Nevertheless, smaller institutions can offer greater flexibility in educational innovation, including unique curricula, than larger schools with inherently greater administrative mass. Even without astronomy degree programs or without substantial research facilities, the smaller, private or specialized school environment can provide opportunities to develop courses tailored to the strengths of the school, and to student interests, and more importantly, to the energetic efforts of junior faculty.

The author's advocacy for and development of new curricula at a small institution are presented, along with several descriptive examples. Unique aspects of these courses are also characterized in their suitability for research projects, educational outreach and other applications.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: erickson@erau.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.